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Going to work out at the gym, whether it’s a group exercise class or your own personal mash-up routine, takes preparation. Your gym bag is the one piece of equipment you can’t do without. Here’s a peek into the things in my personal gym bag that help me make the most of my workout.

Resident Mom Julie Davis gym bag

Photo Credit: Julie Davis

Nothing happens at the gym if you don’t have your membership card. I’m prone to forget mine, so I keep my YMCA card in a small zip pouch I once received a gift card in. It fits perfectly in one of the outer pockets of my bag.

For my Pilates classes, I use Nike Studio Wrap 2 shoes. They have an excellent bottom grip, making them perfect for barre, Pilates and yoga workouts. I use them both for at-home and gym workouts, but I always keep them in my bag.

>> Read more: Fitness Shoes for Every Workout

Running is one of my favorite forms of cardio, so I always keep my running necessities in my bag: armband for my iPhone (I got my Tune Belt from Amazon), headphones (I currently have some Phillips over-ear earbuds) and a small reflector light for the occasional night run. I also keep a spare pair of sunglasses in my bag for running outside.

I have to have a secure way to store my bag when I’m working out, so I carry a small padlock with a key. I vacillate between two different YMCAs in my area, each with different locker types. I keep the lock in my bag so depending on where I end up, I’ve got a way to be sure my personal belongings are safe.

Resident mom Julie Davis gym bag

Photo Credit: Julie Davis

As a single mom, I typically work out from home in the mornings, which means I don’t usually get ready at the gym. But when I do go to the gym, often I run errands after a workout. And, my run club meets at a local restaurant and stays after for food and drink specials. So in my bag I keep a few essentials to help freshen up, including a brush with extra ponytail holders, a Sweaty Band and travel size body spray. I also keep a tili Bag with sport body wipes for freshening up, deodorant, lip balm, bobby pins, more hair elastics (you just can’t have too many), chewing gum and tampons. I also keep a plastic bag to put super sweaty and wet clothes in.

It seems like a lot of stuff in my bag, but there’s still plenty of room for a towel, an extra shirt, and my swimsuit and flip flops if I’m hitting the pool after a workout. I like to keep my stocked gym bag in my car because you just never know when an invitation to get active may arrive.

>> Read more: Pack a Perfect Gym Bag: 11 Must-Haves

I hope my “must haves” have helped you decide what to put in your gym bag! What are your gym go-tos?